Perito Moreno Glacier, Argentina
While most of the world’s glaciers continue to melt, the Perito Moreno ice field in Southern Patagonia maintains its cool in the face of global warming. Credit the snow accumulation from the Andes Mountains. The White Giant, as the iceberg is known, gains at least eight feet a day even as it sheds sheets of ice into Lago Argentino. Listen for the thunderous roar.
What to pack: Weather-resistant shoes, extra socks, waterproof jacket, gloves and lip balm
Where to stay: Constructed with recycled materials to resemble an old railway station, Patagonia Rebelde Posada is a rustic 12-room boutique hotel in nearby town El Calafate, where most visitors to the glaciers stay. (About $110 per night for double occupancy, including breakfast; patagoniarebelde.com)
What to do: The star of the show at Los Glaciares National Park is without a doubt Perito Moreno. At three miles wide, 18 miles long and almost 2,300 feet deep, the glacier deserves a closer look. Outfitter Hielo & Aventura (hieloyaventura.com) provides guides, crampons and instruction to help you tackle its jagged blue surface. Sign up for the high-endurance Big Ice tour, a seven-hour trek into the center of the glacier, and follow the trail in a single file to avoid flooded crevasses and frozen lakes. If you can handle the low ceilings, venture into an underground ice cave for a different perspective. You’ll be rewarded with a glass of whiskey on the rocks—carved from Perito Moreno, of course—once you re-emerge.
When you’re done with your ice capades, see what life is like at a traditional Patagonian farmhouse. At El Galpón del Glaciar (estanciaalice.com.ar), a rustic homestead on the outskirts of town, you can learn to shear sheep and handle a horse like a gaucho amid the rural setting. After a day on the range, cap off your visit with a mouthwatering asado.